Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Baby I’m Yours

Written and first recorded (as a demo) by Van McCoy (1965).
Hit versions by Barbara Lewis (US #11/R&B #5 1965), Peter & Gordon (UK #19 1965), Jody Miller (C&W #5 1971), Linda Lewis (UK #33 1976).
Also recorded by The Paramounts (1965, released 1998), Cher (1990).

From the wiki: “Barbara Lewis has stated that Van McCoy wrote ‘Baby I’m Yours’ specifically for her. But, that when she first heard the demo she disliked the song. (She has suggested that she was actually daunted by the high quality of the vocal, by McCoy himself, on the demo, and at the original session recalled ‘I didn’t really put 100% into my vocal performance’ hoping that Atlantic would shelve the track as sub-par.)

“‘[Producer] Ollie [McLaughlin] told me ‘Barbara, we’re gonna have to go back to Detroit and dub you in. We gotta do your vocals over. You’re just not giving like you should on the song.’ We did several takes [in Detroit] and he was wondering ‘How am I going to get this girl to give? She’s so hard-headed.’ He said ‘You know, Barbara, Karen can sing that song better than you.’ That was his little daughter. And it pissed me off. I did one more take, and that was the take that they selected.’

“The first UK recording of ‘Baby I’m Yours’ was made by the Paramounts at Abbey Road Studios in the summer of 1965, but the track went unreleased until their 1998 compilation release The Paramounts at Abbey Road 1963 to 1970. A higher-profile act – also on the Columbia [UK] roster – Peter & Gordon, did have a UK hit version of the song, released October 15, 1965, which reached #19 in the UK. The release is unique among Peter & Gordon singles. In deference to the US success of the Barbara Lewis version, Capitol Records (Peter and Gordon’s US label of release) chose not issue the duo’s cover in the American market. ‘Baby I’m Yours’ would be the first Peter & Gordon single not be released concurrently in the UK and the US.

“Cher covered ‘Baby I’m Yours’ for the soundtrack of her 1990 film Mermaids, arranged to replicate Barbara Lewis’ hit, and produced by Peter Asher (the ‘Peter’ of Peter & Gordon fame). Even though the song was not featured in the film but was selected as the lead single from the soundtrack for release in the UK and Europe after the US single release ‘The Shoop Shoop Song’ — which as remade by Cher had played under the film’s closing credits — fell short of the Billboard Top-30. It failed there as a single.”

Barbara Lewis, “Baby I’m Yours” (1965):

The Paramounts, “Baby I’m Yours” (1965):

Peter & Gordon, “Baby I’m Yours” (1965):

Jody Miller, “Baby I’m Yours” (1971):

Linda Lewis, “Baby I’m Yours” (1976):

Cher, “Baby I’m Yours” (1990):

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